I attended a great session on 3D printing yesterday as part of the University of Auckland’s annual Raising the Bar series of talks. The event was called 3D Printing the Future by Olaf Diegel, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. I understand the session will be made available as a webinar in a week or so. UPDATE: access it here. If you want to have an accessible and informative introduction to 3D printing and its impact on our future, this would be a great webinar recording to watch.
Olaf did a great job at explaining the uses cases of the technology and importantly also when it wouldn’t make sense to use it. This gave a really balanced view as to where it may be deployed and where traditional production methods may continue.
His talk also explained the benefits and advantages of this form of production. This touched on what we, as resource management practitioners, would call the environmental benefits of the technology. This included reduced material inputs, reduced transport and freight, creating productive uses for waste materials and even a reduced need to hold large inventories of ‘just in case’-spare parts which are manufactured but never used. Overall I found it a great overview of 3D printing and how it will change the operation of many industries. In turn we can use this understanding to better inform ourselves about how various land use activities and their effects may change over time.
Back to the Raising the Bar series as a whole, this year’s ‘home edition’ version of the annual event features 6 speakers on consecutive Wednesdays in the comfort of your own home. There is even a choice as to whether you attend in the morning or the evening. So it makes it accessible to a much wider audience than the usual physical events. All of the live events are free and you can see the details o the talks here. The three sessions yet to occur are still taking registrations and listed below those sessions are the three talks which have already happened. The first of these has the recording available, so I would expect yesterday’s session on 3D printing to be available here in a week or two. UPDATE: access it here. I recommend checking it out if you want to know more about 3D printing.